Auxiliary-Path-Assisted Digital Linearization of Wideband Wireless Receivers
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Wireless communication systems in recent years have aimed at increasing data rates by ensuring flexible and efficient use of the radio spectrum. The dernier cri in this field has been in the area of carrier aggregation and cognitive radio. Carrier aggregation is a major component of LTE-Advanced. With carrier aggregation, a number of separate LTE carriers can be combined, by mobile network operators, to increase peak data rates and overall network capacity. Cognitive radios, on the other hand, allow efficient spectrum usage by locating and using spatially vacant spectral bands. High monolithic integration in these application fields can be achieved by employing receiver architectures such as the wideband direct conversion receiver topology. This is advantageous from the view point of cost, power consumption and size. However, many challenges exist, of particular importance is nonlinear distortion arising from analog front-end components such as low noise amplifiers (LNA). Nonlinear distortions especially become severe when several signals of varying amplitudes are received simultaneously. In such cases, nonlinear distortions stemming from strong signals may deteriorate the reception of the weaker signals, and also impair the receiver’s spectrum sensing capabilities. Nonlinearity, usually a consequence of dynamic range limitation, degrades performance in wideband multi-operator communications systems, and it will have a notable role in future wireless communication system design. This thesis presents a digital domain linearization technique that employs a very nonlinear auxiliary receiver path for nonlinear distortion cancellation. The proposed linearization technique relies on one-time adaptively-determined linearization coefficients for cancelling nonlinear distortions. Specifically, we take a look at canceling the troublesome in-band third order intermodulation products using the proposed technique. The proposed technique can be extended to cancel out both even and higher order odd intermodulation products. Dynamic behavioral models are used to account for RF nonlinearities, including memory effects which cannot be ignored in the wideband scenario. Since the proposed linearization technique involves the use of two receiver paths, techniques for correcting phase delays between the two paths are also introduced. Simplicity is the hallmark of the proposed linearization technique. It can achieve up to +30 dBm in IIP3 performance with ADC resolution being a major performance bottleneck. It also shows strong tolerance to strong blocker nonlinearities.
Boampong, Lester (2018). Auxiliary-Path-Assisted Digital Linearization of Wideband Wireless Receivers. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from